Hallmark is sorry for your loss - your job loss
September 26th, 2011
05:41 PM ET

Hallmark is sorry for your loss - your job loss

Getting laid off from a job has always been synonymous with the delivery of a pink slip, but thanks to Hallmark, the experience might also become associated with receiving another piece of paper in the mail.

With unemployment sitting at 9%, the ongoing layoffs across the country have persuaded the greeting card giant to begin rolling out a line of sympathy cards with words of encouragement for people who have lost their jobs in the tough economy.

The development of cards that deal with the various hardships of the times is nothing new to Hallmark. The company also produced cards aimed at individuals who struggled through events such as the Great Depression, the military draft, and losing loved ones on September 11, 2001.

“People in times of need will always need to connect and when the consumers have asked us for a way to connect in those difficult situations, we try to respond in an authentic way and we think that what the greeting card does is offer a bridge,” Hallmark’s creative director Derek McCracken told NPR’s All Things Considered.

Those that work with the unemployed say they don’t think it’s a bad idea. “Getting a card like that and somebody caring is fabulous,” Michelle Crowthers-Lunczynski of Work One in Franklin, Ind. told CNN affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The crazy part to think about this is there's so many people laid off. At least someone's caring enough to you know, get a card and say, 'I'm thinking of you.'”

According to McCracken, the idea to produce cards that lift the spirits of the recently unemployed came from the company’s own customers, who were asking for a card addressing a topic that hits close to home for so many people.

“They sent us letters. They phoned it in. They asked their retailers, you know, in their neighborhood, where do I find a card that said this?” he said. “Loss of job, like any loss, is a grieving process. And so we have to acknowledge as soon as possible what had happened and then try to support them. So that's where we kind of offer more cards on the, you'll get through this, versus dwelling on the loss of the job itself.”

The job-loss sympathy cards are not currently available at all of the company’s 40,000 locations nationwide, but Hallmark’s website lists several of the 5×7 cards on-sale for $3.49 each.

E-card companies have also latched on to the idea, but American Greetings, a main competitor of Hallmark’s in the world of paper and electronic cards, has yet to produce any layoff-specific products. Spokesman Frank Cirillo says that the idea is something that American Greetings might look at in the future, but it hasn’t seen a demand for the cards because the company focuses on personalized products that are open-ended and conversational enough for consumers to add in their own more specific messages.

Hallmark’s cards range widely in tone: Some of them contain messages that are more on the sentimental side and offer inspirational advice, while many are lighthearted and even make light of the recipient’s situation. One card reads: “Don’t think of it as losing your job. Think of it as a time-out between stupid bosses.” Another says: “Don’t worry, you’ll get through this. Look at me! Okay, maybe don’t.”

“The ones that offer more moral support, but maybe with a little humorous twist in a more encouraging fashion are doing very well and we're publishing more of those,” McCracken said.

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Filed under: Economy • Jobs
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. cl

    REALLY?
    Those that work with the unemployed think its a good idea. (paragraph 3)
    Im pretty sure the unemployed dont work.

    September 27, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      By "working with the unemployed" the author means people who counsel the unemployed and or assist them to locate work.

      September 27, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Ronald

      The people who "work with the unemployed" would be the unemployed if there were less unemployed.

      September 27, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ronald

    A Corporation doesn't have parents, family or friends. It doesn't have a pet to feed or walk everyday. A Corporation is unable of feeling anything. How about management, or HR? These people still have jobs, and none of them will sacrifice 0.5% of their salary to save someone else's job. When you hear over the phone "your call is important to us" it means "your money is important to us"

    September 27, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • AlBr

      Not every place is like that. I work for a small business that is struggling right now. Those of us not on a paying project will be getting 50% of our regular pay starting in OCT. This is to keep people from being laid off–1/2 pay is better than no pay. To date, not one person has left the company. Company loyalty can actually exist as long as that loyalty goes both ways.

      September 27, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Maverick

    Wow! A kick in the gut by a pink slip...a kick in the ba**s with a "sympathy card". Why not paraphrase Chevy Chase from SNL: "Hey, I have a job and you don't."?

    "Those that work with the unemployed say they don’t think it’s a bad idea. “Getting a card like that and somebody caring is fabulous,” Michelle Crowthers-Lunczynski of Work One..." FABULOUS??? Amazing how uncaring this sentiment is, considering it's coming from someone who is employed.

    September 27, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Maverick

    How about these cards:

    "Sorry to hear about the miscarriage but hey, at least you still have cable."

    "Tough luck on your kid not being picked for T-ball, but SOMEONE has to be the loser."

    "Sorry about your wife running off with the bocci ball player...guess I should have told you something sooner..."

    Or "Sorry to hear about your cancer, but better you than me."

    September 27, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • raj

      Good 🙂

      "Sorry to hear your wife ran away with the neighbour, but hey you are out there now!"

      September 27, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. yannaes

    Change your last name or color and never have a need to get a card for being unemployed for the job you would have is to get govt. assistance. Tough job, but someone has to do the work, just a s a liberal.

    September 27, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. Amy

    Geez–if you want to spend $3.49 on an unemployed person, maybe $3.49 worth of food or something useful is a better idea!

    September 27, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Benyamin

      Yeah honestly

      September 27, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      Like.

      September 27, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. TheMovieFan

    Do the cards read "Printed in China" on the back?

    September 27, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • FactCheck

      No, the cards are printed in the Midwest.

      September 27, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. GuestColin

    "Dear brother. I am so sorry you were laid off after 20 years with the same company, but look at it this way..you can now take that fishing trip you always wanted to. Well, if you had the money you could. But you don't, because the cost of your medical insurance is through the roof and your house is being foreclosed on. Um, at least you have your heal- well no. I know you had a stroke last week. So um...yeah. Here's a card. I'm not sure what its for but hey, here's a card."

    September 27, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. rick perrytwit ... slack jawed bible thumper

    Send one to every teabagger you can think of.

    September 27, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. Had enough

    Come on all.....they need to make a "get a clue" card for Obama then after that we can send the sorry you lost your job.....now you know how the rest of the nation feels!!!!

    September 27, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • bristoltwit palin... America's favorite dancing cow.

      I think you're the one who needs to get a clue.

      September 27, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. ACL

    Would would be a better idea would be to have a "sorry you lost your job" money card. At least then it would give them a bit of help, rather then a jaunty card reminding them they meant nothing to the company they worked their butt off for.

    September 27, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. DemFL

    Guessing the average price for a card these days is what $3 or $4, please give me the cash, keep the card!

    September 27, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  13. ColdWarVet

    9% Unemployment. Mor elike 19%, thank you very much Barry. Change we cannot beoieve in.

    September 27, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. bailoutsos

    Employers will can feel better now when they hand you your final check in the card.

    September 27, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. bailoutsos

    How about "Sorry you got voted out of office"?

    September 27, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
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